Chances are if you see a Subaru Impreza at your shop, it was brought in by a rally enthusiast attracted to the compact’s off-road enhancement capabilities. Now there’s one more thing for them to love about the Impreza: gas mileage.
Subaru of America introduced the all-new fourth-generation 2012 Impreza four- and five-door compact models at the 2011 New York International Auto Show. Debuting bolder, more dynamic designs and an all-new powertrain, the 2012 Impreza models also offer a 30-percent improvement in fuel economy over the outgoing versions, along with increased room, greater agility and a higher level of refinement.
New amenities, infotainment technology and higher-grade interior materials contribute to a more rewarding driving and ownership experience in the 2012 Impreza, which will arrive in Subaru dealerships this fall, according to a press release.
Powered by an all-new 148-hp 2.0-liter Boxer engine, the 2012 Impreza comes with a choice of a five-speed manual transmission or the second-generation Lineartronic CVT (continuously variable transmission). The new Impreza will offer the highest fuel economy of any all-wheel drive car in America, the release stated, with projected EPA ratings of 27 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.
Every 2012 Impreza is equipped as standard with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, and will be offered in base, Premium, Sport Premium, Limited and Sport Limited models.
The combination of a longer wheelbase and redesigned door and roof trim and front seats yields gains in passenger and cargo room. The windshield is more raked than in the previous Impreza, with the bottom of the A-pillar moved 7.9 inches forward, allowing for a front door opening nearly five inches longer for easier entry/exit.
The new 2.0-liter Boxer engine feels even more responsive than the 2.5-liter engine it replaces, thanks to lighter vehicle weight-particularly when equipped with the new CVT, the company noted. The CVT provides infinite variability between the highest and lowest available ratios with no discernable steps or shifts. Impreza Premium, Sport and Limited models with the CVT also feature a 6-speed manual mode with steering wheel paddle shifters, which allow the driver to control the transmission via six pre-set ratios.
Strengthened suspension components in front and rear-some inherited from the Legacy-enhance agility, while new liquid (hydraulic) engine mounts help to damp out vibration. The double-wishbone rear suspension features new, strengthened components and pillow ball bushings for improved ride, straight-line stability, handling and vehicle response.
The new body structure makes greater use of high-tensile strength steel and features special stiffening elements at key locations. All 2012 Impreza models add a new driver’s knee airbag to the roster of safety features. The passenger-seat front airbag features a shell-type design with a center groove, thus exposing the passenger to less impact force upon deployment.
All models are equipped as standard with Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC), which combines stability and traction control functions. Likewise, all are equipped with a standard four-wheel disc anti-lock brake system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and the Brake Assist safety system.
Standard comfort and available amenities are increased across the Impreza line for 2012. The base model features a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power windows, door locks and side mirrors, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, outside temperature gauge, a multi-function display with fuel economy information, remote keyless entry system, security system with engine immobilizer, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, variable intermittent windshield wipers and a low windshield washer fluid warning light, according to the release.
Carpeted floor mats are standard equipment.
Impreza Premium models add 16-inch alloy wheels, steering wheel audio and Bluetooth control switches, a rear stabilizer bar for crisper handling, adjustable console armrest, body-color exterior mirrors and chrome interior door handles. The standard audio system in the Premium models features Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and audio streaming, Radio Data Broadcast System (RDBS), iPod control capability, USB port, 3.5mm auxiliary input jack and six speakers.
An optional all-weather package adds heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer.
A power moon roof and navigation system are available for the Premium models. The new navigation system includes a 6.1-inch touch screen LCD display, voice control, iTunes tagging, SMS text messaging capability, XM Satellite Radio and XM NavTraffic (both XM services require subscriptions). Updated map data can be downloaded to a personal computer and then transferred into the system via secure digital (SD) card.
The Impreza Sport Premium is a five-door model that combines standard 17-inch alloy wheels and the all-weather package with fog lights, roof rails, unique seat fabric and rocker panel spoilers.
Topping the 2012 Impreza range, the Limited and Sport Limited (five-door only) models deliver added comfort and convenience with leather seating, the all-weather package and alloy wheel package standard. A further audio upgrade (above the Premium) features a 4.3-inch display screen and standard HD radio. The navigation system and power moon roof are options.